Santorum occupied the place of honor next to the podium at Arlen Specter's 1996 presidential campaign announcement, where Specter says he's running to "protect a woman's right to choose," proclaims his outright opposition to social conservatism and vocally declares he's running to make the GOP pro-choice.
Watch the video here.
|Santorum, occupying the seat of honor next to the podium at Arlen Specter's stridently pro-choice 1996 campaign announcement (March 30, 1995).|
|Santorum applauding in front of a "Republicans for Choice" sign.|
|Santorum and a "Pro Choice - Pro Specter" sign at the speech intended to declare war on pro-lifers.|
Specter, with Santorum at his side:
"In 1996, I intend to win the other house -- the White House -- with ten commitments to America...to champion tolerance and freedom, including a woman's right to choose...
"...Even though we have this historic opportunity for these achievements, there are those in our party who would lead us down a different path -- and squander this unique moment in our nation's history -- by using our political capital -- to pursue a radical social agenda -- that would end a woman's right to choose -- and mandate school prayer.
"When Pat Buchanan calls for a Holy War in our society, -- I say he is wrong. We don't need holy wars, -- we need tolerance and simple humanity.
"When Ralph Reed says a pro-choice Republican isn't qualified to be our President, -- I say the Republican Party will not be blackmailed. I and millions of other pro-choice Republicans -- will not be disenfranchised.
"I believe there is an important place in public life -- for people with deep religious and moral convictions. I am one of them. When I look at teenage pregnancies, -- the high crime rate, -- the fact that many high school graduates cannot read their own diplomas, -- there is no doubt that people with deep religious and moral convictions must be active in the political process. But it is not Christian, -- or religious, -- or Judeo-Christian to bring God into politics; -- or to advocate the intolerance and exclusion.
"I think Jack Kemp put it best -- when he said when it comes to moral values -- we must seek to persuade rather than impose. I want to take abortion out of politics. I want to keep the Republican Party focused on the vital economic and foreign policy issues -- and leave moral issues such as abortion to the conscience of the individual. I believe abortion is an issue to be decided by women -- not by big government.
"I will lead the fight to strip the strident anti-choice language from the Republican National platform -- and replace it with language that respects human life, -- but also respects the diversity of opinion within our own Party on this issue. Let me say it as plainly as I can: Neither this nation -- nor this Party can afford a Republican candidate so captive to the demands of the intolerant right that we end up reelecting a president of the incompetent left.
(CROWD APPLAUDS. SANTORUM SMILES AND NODS)
"Ladies and gentlemen, that's a core line that bears repeating. Neither this nation -- it got the most applause -- nor this Party can afford a Republican candidate so captive to the demands of the intolerant right we end up reelecting a president of the incompetent left....I say it a third time. It got more applause the second time...."
Yes. That was the televised announcement and speech Rick Santorum was sitting next to the podium for.